Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Seeds in Need of a Good Home

Seeds are small miracles that need to be shared (dill)

Last year I started my own holiday tradition. I don't put up a seed trade page. I put up a page where I list what I have and anyone can ask for them. No trades needed. So if you want something, just ask and you shall receive. Then I put out to the universe the seed that I'm looking for and lo and behold people offer some of it to me and not always the people I send seed to. Gardeners are such sweet people. Though the bulk of my seed will come from Fedco this year (I'm finalizing my order right now), I still love growing seed from other garden bloggers. It is a connection to them especially if they save the seed themselves (not necessary but nice).

This year I have a short list of what I want and a long list of seeds that need a good home so I'm going to list what I'm looking for first.

  • Paste tomatoes 5 seeds in a variety are plenty, even just two is enough to figure out if I like a variety and save seed for future years.
  • Romaine lettuce - I want to grow it again, but haven't a clue about varieties
  • Tomatillos - I want green sauce next year. There seems to be about three kinds. The regular one, the large green one and the purple one. Anyone have clues as to which is best for sauce? Or which one would grow well in my climate?
  • Dried Bush beans for me to trial

I'll take other seed like Asian greens I haven't tried and such, but the above would be my favorite since I can save the seed and keep it going from year to year.

Seed that I give away is of two types: seed that is commercial, but I no longer want to grow. This does not necessarily mean it is bad seed (ask Granny about how her pumpkins grew this year), but it just doesn't have a home in my garden for any number of reasons (I quit growing pumpkins because vine borers took them out each year). The second type is seed that I saved and have enough to trade some away. A warning: I have not done germination tests on my seed. I've never had a problem saving seed or getting them to germinate, but they have not been tested. I'll list seed by type and let you know if I saved it in the listing and will bold all the saved seed (because it is so much more fun than commercial). I'll also add the year that it was bought if it was commercial, or the year harvested if saved.

The best way to ask for seed is to send me an email which includes your mailing address. I'll try to keep the list updated as much as possible.

Saved seed drying on the dining room table

Tomatoes. My tomatoes were not isolated and grew next to one another. There is a chance of crossing. The odds aren't high but they are there.

  • Tumbling Tom (2009 Wintersown)
  • Early Ssubakus Aliana (2009 Wintersown)
  • Chocolate Cherry (2009 saved)
  • Market Miracle (2009 saved)
  • Black Moor (2009 saved)
  • Emma-Sungold F3 (2009 saved) good tasting red cherry, only an F3 so had not been stabilized and can produce children not like the mother
  • Gabrielle-Sungold F3 (2009 saved) good tasting yellow 1/2" cherry, again only an F3 and not stabalized

Lettuce was isolated 12' which should be enough to ensure the type.

  • Red Sails (2009 saved)
  • Deer Tongue (2009 saved)
  • Australian Yellow Leaf (2009)
  • Simpson Elite (2008)
  • Prizehead (2008)

Pole Beans. I received both dried beans from the Ottawa gardener which she had saved and grew them out. The cranberry was true to type. The Trail of Tears had 10% that were not true to type. It looks like they had crossed with the cranberry bean. I did not save seed from these plants (I ate them). I grew all my beans in the same bed and they were not isolated. You too might find a plant or two that crossed. If the Trail of Tears pod is not slim and uniform in color (first green then maroon) don't pass on those seeds.

  • Ottawa Cranberry dried bean (2009 saved)
  • Trail of Tears dried bean (2009 saved)
  • Fortex (2008)


  • Crimson Giant(2005)
  • Pinetree Mix(2009)
  • Reggae(2009)


  • Slim Jim(2008)
  • Lavender Touch(2009)


  • Super Sugar Snap(2008)
  • Mammoth Melting Snow Pea(2008)


  • Tyfon Holland Greens(2009)
  • Strawberry Spinach(2009)


  • Dill (2009 saved) I always have too much dill seed
  • Coriander(cilantro) (2009 saved)
  • Flat leafed parsley (2008 saved - warning sometimes parsley is not viable after the first year)


  • Ground control marigold (2009 saved)
  • Johnny Jump Up (2009 saved)
  • False Indigo (2009 saved)


  • Pineapple tomatillo (2009 saved) P. pruinosa and won't cross with real tomatillos
  • Early Jalapeno (2009 saved - cage isolated from other peppers)
  • Dark Green Zucchini (2008)

I really thought about putting in descriptions, but that is oh so much work. If you want to know how something did in my garden, do a search of the blog, or do a search of the 2009 Overviews (I'll finish them soon. I only have two more left), or do a web search. The overview posts go into a lot of detail about what I liked and didn't over the year and how things performed in a very wet and cold year.


  1. Daphne - I'd be really interested in how you save seeds from some varieties of veggies - particularly lettuce...

  2. EG, I wrote posts about some of them. For the lettuce it is really easy to save seed. It is an inbreeding plant and usually self pollinates. Even if you grow them right next to one another crossing will be low (but possible). You can read about it here:
    Beans, peas, and tomatoes are similar since they also usually self pollinate before they open. The others (except the pepper) I only grew on of that species so they wouldn't cross. The peppers were the hardest. I had three kinds and peppers will self pollinate readily, but they are also cross pollinated with insects. So I made a screen cage to put over one while some peppers set. Then I took off the cage and marked the isolated peppers and just saved seed from them.

    If you want to get into seed saving I highly recommend Seed To Seed by Susanne Ashworth as a reference. The book is well organized and has most of the things that you want to grow. It will tell you whan is easy to save and what is not.

  3. Oh, my, Daphne, you really are asking for a deluge here! What a generous gesture on your part. Naturally, I have a few on your list that, having followed their progress through the year, I'd love to try, so I'll be one of the thousands sending you an e-mail. And if you reply with your mailing address I'll try to see what I have to send you in return!

  4. Daphne, I love your blog and thank your for offering seed to all the gardeners out there. I would like to snag a few of them if that's ok. I'd like to try the slim jim eggplant, the early jalapeno's, the zucchini, and the pineapple tomatillo. I'm starting my first real garden next year in raised sfg beds. I've already got my garlic planted and am going to wintersow some of my tomatoes to try it out. Hopefully I will be able to start my own garden blog next spring! You can contact me at tenessaa@roadrunner.com THANK YOU!

    ps. EG I follow your blog too. I like the videos cause as a Kentucky girl I can understand your accent perfectly! lol

  5. I may be in touch for a couple things. I also have a list, you can go to my garden blog (PawPawPatch) and click on the Seed Destash list on the right side.

  6. Look at all those beautiful seeds! The trail of tears really was a good producer for you. I have Little Gem romaine if you would like to try it? It produces small heads, I feed two most of the time and it seems perfect.

  7. OFB, well I haven't gotten a huge deluge, but have gotten quite a few takers. A lot of things have run out already (I've crossed them off above), but there are several things that I have tons of that I really doubt will all go. Send me your email with what you want before it disappears. It is fun seeing what people want. Lettuce seems to be the most popular. And the eggplant disappeared quickly.

    Tenessa, Good luck on that new garden. It is always exciting to try something new.

    Jody, I already sent you what I wanted :> now you send me your list.

  8. Thanks Daphne, sent you an email. I've been all talk and no action about saving seeds. So I can't offer you anything saved, just praise.

  9. Wow, oh wow, oh wow! The bounty! You are so generous with your wisdom and your seeds. Thank you!

  10. That's all very tempting. Count me in ! :D

  11. Things are going fast! I will make sure to add the little gem to your list. I think I have a full sized one too but it is gretting pretty old. Going on the third year I think, I will test it if I have some left.

  12. Thank you so much for your generous offering. Sent you an email request for a few seeds of the Market Miracle.

  13. This is kind of my first year collecting seeds...and they are all mixed up...erg.
    I should have been more careful in my collecting and keeping them separate from each other:)

  14. Sally, lol sometimes I find it hard to tie up the garden for long enough to get the seed, but much of my seed at least was easy. Only the lettuce was a little annoying and luckily didn't take up too much space.

    June, you're welcome

    Miss M, you are in and seeds have been counted.

    Dan, yup somethings went very fast. I think the dried beans might have been the most popular at this point, but I made sure I saved plenty of dried beans and I could always break into my stash of eating seeds. Though admittedly I didn't make sure they were absolutely dry before freezing.

    kitsapFG, I got it. It will go out today probably.

    GartenGrl, labels are useful. I've been drying my tomatoes on old coffee filters. I always write on the filters so I don't mix them up. You might just have to grow them out to figure out what you have.